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Category: Animals

New images clarify how glasswing butterflies make their wings transparent

Sparse, spindly scales and a waxy membrane coating are behind the insect’s transparency. Most butterflies sport colorful, eye-catching patterns on their wings. But some species, like the glasswing butterfly, use mostly transparent wings to hide in plain sight. To figure out how these Central American butterflies go incognito, researchers put the wings of glasswing butterflies […]

Florida airport monkeys are the descendants of zoo escapees

A colony of wild African green monkeys living near the Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport finally gets an origin story. Much-beloved wild African monkeys that live near the Fort Lauderdale airport are the descendants of a bunch of zoo escapees from 1948. Local lore long held that the monkeys (Chlorocebus sabaeus) may have descended from a […]

Strange single-celled life-form has a truly bizarre genome

A single-celled creature known as a dinoflagellate may have one of the weirdest genomes on Earth, The Scientist reported. Life can be categorized into three major domains: Bacteria, Archaea and Eukarya. The latter carry their DNA inside a nucleus, where they package the genetic material in compact structures called chromosomes. Dinoflagellates are eukaryotes, but unlike […]

Tiny dinosaur that looked like an owl hunted like one, too

Like many owls, it was probably a nighttime predator. A tiny, meat-eating dinosaur had superb low-light vision and hearing that was likely as good as an owl’s. And like an owl, the wee dinosaur probably used those exceptional abilities to stalk and catch its desert prey under the cover of darkness. Owl-like Shuvuuia (shu-VU-ya) was […]

Do snakes have ears?

Can they hear predators or prey? Snakes are unique animals, with their limbless bodies, flicking tongues and the ability to devour prey whole. They mostly rely on their sense of smell to hunt prey, although they do use sight and sound too. But do snakes have ears? Yes and no, Sara Ruane, a herpetologist at […]

Mosasaurus: Apex ocean predator of the dinosaur age

Mosasaurus and other mosasaurs ruled the seas for millions of years. Mosasaurus was a ferocious predator in the ancient oceans of the Cretaceous period (145.5 million to 65.5 million years ago). While dinosaurs dominated the land, Mosasaurus used its long tail and stumpy, paddle-like limbs to cruise through the water, devouring all kinds of prey […]